THE No side has extended its lead in the campaign for Scottish independence by four points since last month, a new TNS poll reveals today.
The survey of 1,000 over-16s in Scotland found 45 per cent backing a No vote in the 18 September referendum compared with 41 per cent a month ago.
The poll, which was mostly carried out during the Commonwealth Games with some interviewing taking place after last week’s Alex Salmond/Alistair Darling debate, had Yes on 32 per cent, unchanged from a month ago.
The percentage of “undecideds” was down four points to 23 per cent, giving No a lead of 13 per cent.
The poll was published at the same time as a survey of Scottish doctors by the British Medical Journal found that 60 per cent favoured a No vote – suggesting that the medical profession is more opposed to independence than the country as a whole.
Better Together Campaign Director Blair McDougall welcomed the findings.
He said: “The momentum is clearly with the campaign to keep Scotland in the UK. This is just the latest poll to show more and more Scots are saying no thanks to independence. We have had so many small donations following last week’s TV debate that we are now asking people to stop donating to us.”
Yes Scotland, however, took encouragement from analysis of the figures which deal with the 71 per cent of adults who say they are certain to vote.
Among these voters, 46 per cent say they will vote No, unchanged from a month ago, while 38 per cent intend to vote Yes (up one percentage point) with 16 per cent undecided (down two percentage points).
Yes Scotland chief executive Blair Jenkins said: “These are encouraging findings – among those who are certain to vote, the gap has narrowed further this month, putting Yes at a new high.”
The BMJ poll of 2,297 doctors received 311 responses and found that 60 per cent of Scottish doctors plan to vote No to independence.
The BMJ’s survey was sent to 2,297 doctors in Scotland to which 311 responded (a 14 per cent response rate).
Labour MSP Jackie Baillie said: “This shows that people working in our NHS know that the best way to protect our health service is to stay part of the UK.”
Dr Willie Wilson of NHS for Yes said: “This is a small sample and our experience is the opposite.”